Ryan and I both have a bit of a soft spot for Madonna's excellent first tour documentary, Truth or Dare. When we heard that her latest exhibit of exhibitionism, the Jonas Ackerlund-directed I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, was premiering on MTV, we made a pact to devote our Friday night to watching/blogging it.
Long story short: Secret is incredibly disapointing, as a movie and as a trainwreck. Truth or Dare still feels surprisingly legitimate; when Madonna risks getting arrested for indecency for performing the now-infamous "Like a Virgin" masturbation dance in Canada, you actually sort of believe that she believes that she's making an important artistic statement; more importantly, you almost agree with her. Better than that, though, are the moments that subtly deflate the self-importance that makes the film itself possible. In its centerpiece scene, Warren Beatty, looking about 100 years old, sits in a corner and critique's his then-girlfriend's appetite for fame. "She doesn't want to live off camera!" he sputters. That's the last of him. Later, Madonna admits to feeling as though ex-husband Sean Penn was her one true love. Then she gives a bottle of Evian a blow job.
Such histrionics keep the procedings endlessly fascinating, even when the film unwisely digresses into the lives of Madonna's make-up people and dancers. But 15 years on, Madonna seems to have completely lost her taste for chaos. Despite a couple of WTF?!? moments ("interviews" with Michael Moore and a trip to Israel among them), Secret is impeccably controlled, and entirely lifeless. Ryan and I lost two hours of our life to it; the evidence can be found after the jump.